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Volunteer at NYPL


Hand holding library card toward camera
Join the Library Card campaign

The New York Public Library is in need of enthusiastic, friendly volunteers to staff library card sign-up tables during the months of January, February and early March.

Volunteers will ideally work three 2-3 hour shifts over the course of each month, providing information on and answering questions about library cards, encouraging people to sign up, and handling their paperwork. Training will be provided and schedules are flexible. There will be day, evening and weekend opportunities. The Library is looking to staff tables at events and in high-traffic areas near four specific branches: Bronx Library Center and Jerome Park in the Bronx, and New Amsterdam and Kips Bay in Manhattan. All are near public transportation. 

This campaign aims to raise awareness of the free programs and services that libraries provide, and encourage as many New Yorkers as possible to get cards and access the full range of those services. 

Please contact the Volunteer Office if you are interested in helping with this project at

Community Oral History Projects

The New York Public Library's Community Oral History Project is an initiative taking place throughout the NYPL system that aims to document, celebrate, and make accessible the rich history of the city's unique neighborhoods by collecting the stories of people who have experienced it firsthand.

As the project moves into spring 2017, we're looking for volunteers to help us out with the following tasks:

Share stories and/or conduct interviews: Until May 2017, we'll be documenting stories in Kips Bay and Murray Hill and the Lower East Side. We're looking for volunteers to share stories and conduct interviews with friends, family, and neighbors. 

Make our collection accessible: Volunteers are needed to work from home and help us summarize and add keywords to the growing collection of interviews.

Interested in any of the above? Please contact

Event Volunteers

Event at the Celeste Bartos Forum

Volunteers are needed in the Bronx and Manhattan to assist at various locations throughout the year at events such as Summer Reading Parties, Author Lectures, Musical Performances and more. All event volunteers must go through Child Safety Training (even if you only work at adult events). Hours are flexible but are mostly afternoons, evenings and Saturdays. Please email with "Event" in the subject line.

Other Opportunities

  • Riverside Library needs a volunteer to teach knitting or crochet on Saturday mornings from 10 am to noon. Please email with "Riverside" in the subject line.
  • Seward Park Library needs shelving help weekday mornings. Chess tutors are needed for kids and teens on Saturday afternoons. Must be able to commit for at least 6 months. Email with "Seward" in the subject line.
  • Morris Park Library needs volunteers to act as Homework Helpers for kids ages 5 - 12, afterschool weekdays. Email with "homework help" in the subject line if you are interested.
Volunteers at the Outdoor Summer Reading Room

Online Volunteers

Collaborate with NYPL to build the library of the future! We're doing this with the help of volunteers. We're exploring new and fun ways of improving access to rare and unique collections online. These are projects you can work on anytime, anywhere with an internet connection. We have two active initiatives now. More are on the way! No need to fill out an application. Get started immediately by following the links below.

  • Emigrant City - Help transcribe 19th and 20th century real estate records.
  • Map Warper - Help transform historical street maps into an interactive digital atlas.

Get Involved

The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

Online Application

If you are interested in any of the above, please fill out an application and mail to:

New York Public Library, Volunteer Office, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
476 Fifth Avenue, Room 67 - VOL
New York, NY 10018.

You may also email your application to

Please do not apply for a library that is not mentioned in any of the current opportunities. Please do not apply if you are unable to make a once a week commitment for at least six months. Please do not apply if you are under 14 years of age.

Teens wanting to volunteer or their parents may wish to read the following article, Kids and Community Service.

Due to the large number of applications we receive, we are unable to respond to all. If your qualifications match with our current needs, we will contact you. It may take up to four weeks to respond to you. Please do not apply for positions that are not listed.

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